Before a body shop can reach ideal benchmarks for work capture ratio (around 75-85 percent, Axalta executive Steve Trapp notes) its staff must receive training in several forms.
Trapp is a big proponent of having young employees like estimators train with gifted, veteran employees that he calls “eagles.” He views eagles as star employees who model exemplary customer service behavior.
“That first couple of weeks on the job,” Trapp says, new hires “have got to see it being done right. If they see bad behavior during that modeling period, they can adapt those bad behaviors themselves.
“Be in constant watch mode during that [on-boarding] period. Then, sit down and coach.”
Other ways to train your staff to achieve a stellar work capture ratio include the following:
Watch eLearning modules. Most paint companies offer online courses that provide advice for customer service and sales.
Have periodic sales meetings. Trapp suggests having sales meetings on a monthly basis, or even weekly, if staff members are struggling with regard to their salesmanship. He also suggests publicly praising employees’ good customer service behaviors while reserving constructive criticism for private conversations.
ALSO, CONSIDER YOUR AESTHETICS.
The opportunity to win potential customers over starts the moment they pull into your parking lot. That’s why Ron Perretta, a shop owner for over four decades and the owner of Professionals Auto Body, makes sure to keep his business looking good, with well-manicured landscaping, and nary a lightbulb out on his property—because consumers form their opinions fast.
“When people walk into a shop’s lobby, you should hear ‘This place looks like a doctor’s office,’ or ‘I’ve never seen a body shop so clean.’ … If [shop owners] aren’t hearing things like that, they should re-evaluate what they’re doing.”
There are other, fairly simple tactics shop staffs can use to win over visitors to their facility. Among them:
Provide consumers with informational articles. Providing literature to explain the
evolving technology of vehicles is a gesture many customers appreciate, Perretta says.
Offer tours of your facility. Few things help a shop manage its reputation like the
transparency provided by a quick shop tour. It also builds trust among a client base, Perretta notes.